WEST PALM BEACH, Fla - Paul Pope is a third generation Italian-American. Pope was researching his Italian roots when he discovered the critical role his family played in building modern America.
"I don't think it's often enough that we trace our roots," said Pope.
Pope's family history is chronicled in his book, "The Deeds of my Fathers."
The book details the rags to riches story of an immigrant family that would help shape the twentieth century.
"I started the story with my father and realized that I couldn't tell my Father's story without telling my grandfather's story," said Pope.
Penniless in 1906, Pope's grandfather, Generoso Pope Sr., rose to become one of the wealthiest men in New York.
"When he first came over here, he worked in the sandpits. He labored everyday, building most of New York City.
When my grandfather owned Colonial Sand and Stone, he had the largest sand and gravel company in the nation. He was the most successful Italian immigrant ever," said Pope.
Decades later Pope's father, Generoso Pope Jr., would reinvent the newspaper, creating the tabloid "The National Enquirer."
"He bought a failing Hearst paper, "The New York Enquirer." That's where it all started. He had his fingers on the pulse, he knew what the readers wanted to read," said Pope.
The family touched lives across the country, even instilling some Christmas spirit in sunny South Florida.
"He started with about a 26 foot Christmas tree, that became the famous National Enquirer Christmas Tree, that about a million visitors came to see per year," said Pope.
Pope's journey through his past now complete, he's focusing on a loftier goal. "Starting a humanitarian cause, trying to save the world. Take the top 20 problems. with no political or religious agenda, I want to educate people about them, give them the timeline, a real timeline, then give them solutions," said Pope.
©2007 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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